Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
Disoriented travelers, overwhelmed by new sights and sounds, often make easy targets for scammers and not just pick pockets or criminals.
I’m Sheyna Steiner with the Bankrate.com personal finance minute.
If you pay for a souvenir using an American Visa or Mastercard, you could end up paying extra. It’s called dynamic currency conversion and it can cost travelers 4 to 7 percent more.
Avoid this by paying in the local currency — or by using American Express which uses a different system.
Another common scam is on the road. Taxi drivers may try to take advantage of tourists ignorance of their city.
They may tell you that your hotel burned down and take you to another one that will pay them a commission for delivering customers. Or they may simply take a long route to your destination or claim that the meter is broken.
To avoid that, negotiate rates in advance and learn a little bit about your destination before you get there, today’s GPS and smartphones make it easier for travelers.
For more on this and other personal finance issues, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Sheyna Steiner.